Rudi Garcia fast transforming AS Roma

ROME. It has taken new coach Rudi Garcia only five games and less than three months to turn AS Roma from a bickering outfit prone to defensive calamities into the most efficient unit in Serie A.

Saturday

Genoa    vs    Napoli        6pm

Milan    vs    Sampdoria    8:45pm
   
Sunday

Torino    vs    Juventus    12:30pm

Catania    vs    Chievo        3pm

Cagliari    vs    Inter

Sassuolo    vs    Lazio

H Verona    vs    Livorno

Atalanta    vs    Udinese

AS Roma    vs    Bologna    8:45pm

Monday

Fiorentina    vs    Parma        8:45pm

ROME. It has taken new coach Rudi Garcia only five games and less than three months to turn AS Roma from a bickering outfit prone to defensive calamities into the most efficient unit in Serie A.

Roma go into Sunday’s match at home against Bologna with a 100 percent record from five games, 12 goals scored and only one conceded. Yet, when Garcia took over in mid-July, the team was in disarray.

Despite a highly-talented squad led by the talismanic Francesco Totti, Roma finished sixth last season, missing out on European football after conceding 56 goals in their 38 games, one of the worst defensive records in the league.

The maverick leadership of Czech-born coach Zdenek Zeman, fired just over halfway through the season after one defensive fiasco too many, produced great entertainment but had their fans living on their nerves.

Roma, however, left the worst for the end when they lost the Coppa Italia final to arch-rivals Lazio in a performance overshadowed by a public spat between controversial striker Pablo Osvaldo, who has since joined Premier League Southampton, and interim coach Aurelio Andreazzoli.

Garcia quickly brought order to the dressing-room, patched up the defence and gave the players back their confidence.

The arrival of central defender Mehdi Benatia from Udinese, described by Garcia as the symbol of the team, and Brazilian right back Maicon from Manchester City have bolstered the backline, as has the signing of goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis from Napoli.

Daniele De Rossi, overlooked by Zeman for part of last season, is back to his swashbuckling best in midfield and Miralem Pjanjic has found a new lease of life.

Totti, now in his 22nd season and 37 on Friday, continues to defy the years while the arrival of Gervinho and Adem Ljajic have give the attack a new dimension.

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